Posts Tagged ‘oil’

      Now that the historic 2008 election for the President of the United States is over and Barack Obama has won…there will be great expectations.  Obama really ran on the platform of “change”.  As the agent of change…he will be watched and judged in a way like no other before him.  Everyone is expecting miracles; and miracles, is what this nation needs.  Families are looking for stability in their lives.

       As we have demonstrated to the world over the last few months…we have to get our finances as a country and as a world under control.  We must heal the breakdown of credit and the housing industry…the buying, selling and foreclosure of homes.  We must address the nations dependency on oil from foreign countries.  We must investigate and explore alternative forms of energy.  We must address the dwindling funding that forms the foundation of education in both lower and higher education.  We must find a way to insure those who have no medical insurance.  We need to apply some solutions to the social security flux which will drain the funds because of the aging population.  We must repair relationships with countries around the world that have been badly damaged over the last 8 years.  We must continue to protect ourselves and others who are under siege from terrorists around the world.  We must insure that our children have opportunities before them that children from other countries have. 

        I say we meaning, African Americans and all Americans, Democrats and Republics, conservatives and liberals, men and women…it doesn’t matter who you are…we are in this thing called life together…and that is how we have to approach solutions to the problems that we face as a country.

        With an unprecedented stacked deck of Democrats in the House & Senate, as well as a Democratic President, we will have great expectations from Barack Obama as leader of the United States. Republicans have taken the heat for the condition of the United States for quite some time…now it is time for Democrats to prove their worth as they lead our citizens.  

         Is President elect Obama up to the task?  He had better be…because it is unacceptable to think about the alternative; and, the impact it will have on this country if he fails at any one of the aforemented issues; as well as many, many more issues which are in need of major renovation to become healthy once again.

         Hopefully, we will not, in our zeal to affect change in this country, continue to attack the basic values of conservative America.  We are seeing escalating legal attacks on the defination of traditional views of marriage and family.  We have people who are determined to stretch the defination to include gay marriages as a legally recognized state of marriage.  There are those who seek to further liberal ideas such as legalizing marijuana and prostitution; or expanding the limits of abortion.  It seems that traditional values in this country are being turning upside down…what has been considered to be right is now viewed as wrong and is prone to challenge.

        There is some real resistance against such change, from those who consider themselves conservative; to fight and stand up to those challenges; by those who not only believe in a liberal view of rights and responsibilities but, those who seek to change how we govern ourselves regarding those issues.  So is Barack Obama up to the task of effective leadership of such diverse approaches to life?  Time will be the judge! In the meantime, citizens of the United States have a right to great expectations.



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       Here is something to think about with all of the financial crisis making the daily news.  Have you signed anything legal agreeing to rip yourself off financially?  Many people probably haven’t realized this aspect of the times yet…but, a normally smart thing to do each summer is to sign up for a budget plan with your winter heating fuel supplier…agreeing to “lock in” a price when the prices are low during the summer…just in case the price of heating oil/gas goes up, like it normally does in the fall and winter months.

        This year…against any predictable reasoning…gas prices have fallen, sharply.  Still, once people sign on the dotted line to lock in a heating source price…they truly are locked in at that price.   I think as people discover this situation for themselves…there is going to be alot of anger of being caught in this situation.  Some say, that most years it makes sense to lock in and it works out to their advantage…but, this year has really challenged that theory.

          Locking in makes sense usually; the agreement is usually accomplished in mid summer.  Well….if you remember correctly, in July…gas prices were sky high.  In my neck of the woods…gasoline prices have dropped from an all time high of approximately $4.25 down to now a $2.88 cents a gallon.  If you apply that thought process to home heating oil/propane….you can just imagine how much money that people are loosing.

          With the rising cost of food, rent/mortgage payments, health insurance, and other necessities…people can ill afford to pay extra when they don’t have to.  I, for one, am glad that i didn’t lock in my propane prices; like i was advised to! 

          Did you get ripped off by signing an agreement to lock in your heating costs this year?  If you did…you are not alone…and personally i don’t think anyone expected such a situation…but, it really is a gamble trying to predict the future with heating costs.  I am pretty sure that, next year, companies will have a hard time getting people who were burned this year, to sign on the dotted line.  Just stop and think about how many people are living on fixed incomes…i almost hate to see winter arrive because…we will see more people suffering and living in dangerous conditions, in colder climates, because of this.

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        Senator John Warner has asked Samuel Bodman the Energy Secretary to review information that would reveal what the ideal speed limit would be that would allow the most efficient use of gasoline in our vehicles today.  With gasoline prices topping $4.15 cents a gallon around the country the timing couldn’t be better to encourage changes in the way that we drive.

         Many Americans have already started to alter aimless driving habits.  I see nothing wrong with that…we all could do better in planning where we go and what we do while we are out and about.  Some people are in denial about the severity of the situation regarding supply and demand as well as all of the damage to our planet that our carelessness has brought.  

         Would the general population get behind a national drive 55 speed limit?  I think it is going to take some convincing as it will be viewed by many as an inconvience after being legally allowed to drive up to 70 mph on some highways.  After all, it will take longer to get where they are going.  I think more people would be willing to do it if they felt that the automakers were doing more to ensure that we were getting more miles to the gallon by the way that they factory set the computers on our vehicles to use the gasoline we spend our hard earned dollars on. (more…)

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       Well, this morning there is breaking news that oil production is not keeping up with the demand for oil…this is a surprise to people; just now?  Come on…with the price of gasoline rising every week…how could they miss something this big?  Most of us commononers have it figured out already.  We need it…they have it…we pay for it…they profit from it…Simple right?  Well, not so much…you see we don’t have to be as dependent on foreign oil as we have been.  Smart people are looking at ways of altering their lifestyle to save money and make greener choices in their energy usuage.

           I say, smart people are trying to take back some control in their lives.  Everyone is trying to figure out, in their own way, what choices in their day- to- day activities they can make, that will cut down on their usage of gasoline and oil.  For some, it isn’t just about saving money…although that too is important…it is understanding that the plentiful supply of oil is not always going to be there.  We need to figure out alternative ways of heating our homes and businesses; as well as, getting around where we need to go. 

        I saw a newspiece the other day on television about how many more people are taking advantage of public transportation; regardless of their financial status.  It seems that the subway systems in some cities are overflowing with riders, busses are experiencing an increase as well.  Around the world where people have the option of using ferries, trolleys or railways, we are seeing more people access public transportation in numbers large enough to measure.  This is good, people are making smarter choices.

          Some great minds are working on designing alternative ways of producing and using solar energy, steam powered products, water powered generators, geo-thermal systems, wind powered generators…we need to look at all of these renewable sources in a serious way.  It is important to encourage people to make small sacrifices now to prevent huge sacrifices later.  Educating others about the dangers of being so dependent on oil as our only source of energy is very important. 

         Some celebrities are wise about leading the call to understanding the importance of changing our ways.  Brad Pitt is into architecture and design and can influence greener choices in his building projects; Leonardo DiCaprio is not only a strong voice; but, is active in his desire to educate others about the importance of respecting our earth, and it’s resources.  There are other celebrities who are encouraging hybrid cars as a way to make a difference.  Being an environmental activist is something we should all take on like Leonardo DiCaprio; here is his website to help educate others to the idea of protecting our environment. www.leonardodicaprio.org/

         Back to the breaking news part of things…today it was announced by Saudi King Abdullah that his country is increasing oil production.  The Saudi’s are going to put out 9.7 million barrels of oil a day instead of the past 9 million barrels.  That is good and maybe it will help with the high prices a bit.   

           Higher production is good and may help temporarily…but again, realizing that we do have choices that can also make an impact on our finances and on our planet is a powerful idea that needs to take root in more people’s minds.  Our future is at stake and the quality of our lives will be impacted by the choices we all make today & tomorrow.  We can no longer be in denial about the condition of our earth.  We have the power to affect positive change by our actions.  How is your life being affected by high gasoline and oil prices?  How have you had to change your lifestyle?  What smart choices have you chosen to make?

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         Green Group of Eight sounds like a new alternative rock band; but in fact, it is a group of energy ministers from 8 countries (really 11 since India, South Korea and China have jumped on the bandwagon) who have committed themselves to cutting down on the carbon emissions that everyone agrees has been adding to the climate warming around the globe.  They have begun meeting looking for ways to cut down the carbon footprints we leave behind.  As they make recommendations and guidelines, it will be up to individuals in each country to make a positive impact by making sacrifices as well as more green choices in their every day lives.  It is for our own good.

         As the world has grown in population, the demand for oil and energy keeps growing as well.  The energy ministers are looking for positive ways to meet the need, while at the same time, finding greener ways to meet that demand but also use the energy in the most efficient ways possible.  It is a huge responsibility; but, one that most of us agree is necessary to preserve the world that we live in.

        With the options available for renewable energy there is great interest…however, it is costly for start ups.  If each nation becomes aggressive about pursuing less destructive means of providing energy needed in the world; then, the costs of renewable energy systems will become affordable for the average person.  We all owe it to ourselves and to our children and grandchildren to be good stewards of the earth and it’s resources.   Most people are willing to do their part if it is affordable, once they are educated on the options.   If incentives are put in place to encourage people to reduce their energy usage or to commit to alternative energy sources you might make headway sooner in these goals.  Why couldn’t these energy issues be taken more seriously sooner?   

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          Does it seem like the news scene is exploding with activity to anyone else but me lately?  Geez…each day there are tons of news stories that are equally important…but, there is not enough time to do them justice so i will just touch briefly on the most noteworthy for today.

            The biggest story is that Hillary Clinton the ended her bid for the Democratic nomination for running for the office of the President of the United States…she says that she endorses Senator Barack Obama now and urges her supporters to throw their support to him in his bid for the office of the President of the United States.  This is newsworthy because their duo quest for the Presidency was historic; Hillary because she was a female running for the job…and him because he is the first African American who was running.  Some of Hillary’s supporters are angry and say they will not vote for Barack.  Both Hillary and Barack are calling for unity in the Party so that a Democratic can win the Presidency from the Republicans.

            Today it was announced that Lynda Carter, the actress who played Wonder Woman, found a body in the Potomac River, Washington.  It was a woman and Lynda didn’t have a cell phone so she called to some fishermen to get help.  She stayed near the body until help arrived.   She said it was something anyone would do.  I beg to differ, as earlier this week…a video showed a person being hit by a car and noone stopping to help him out.  The world is slowly becoming desensitized to people in  need.  Good job Lynda for acting with compassion.

            On a sad note….a person of great renown in the sports world passed away.  Jim McKay a wonderful sportscaster who set the bar for todays new crop of televised sportscasters died at the age of 86 at his home in Maryland of natural causes.  I remember watching him while i grew up and he had a voice that you wanted to listen to.  He could create a natural excitement about whatever sport he was addressing at the time.  He was special.

           Also, the weather is playing a big part in the news this past week.  There has been horrendous storms in the central part of the country.  There have been tornadoes, torrential rains, flooding and lightening strikes.  Right now the National Weather Service has issued warnings for 15 counties in Indiana.  There are several dams that are on the brink of failing…and already widespread flooding is occuring.  Parts of several highways have been shut down due to flooding and people are being evacuated in several areas for the same reason.  With rain predicted off and on over the next few days…the threat could become more widespread for the residents of Indiana.

              Last but not least, the Dow Jones dropped 400 points today and the price of oil jumped again making the leap up 13% in the last two days.  The price of gas continues to fly skyward…making many families fearful about their financial future.  There seems to be no end in sight as to the lengths that the gas/oil industry will push the cost of purchasing the much needed precious fuels that make the world go round.  It is frightening to think what this winter will hold when it comes to gasoline and heating fuels. 

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        There is so much in the news about being responsible and going green in your lifestyle.  I am all for it.  I try to do the things that i can do…and i think about new ways to go green that i can do down the road.  The hard part is that many of the big ways to go green are so very expensive.

        I would love to go solar, heat with geo thermal heating and cooling, use eco friendly products when remodeling or building, buy hybrid vehicles, and use windpower to help reduce the strain on our planet.  Those kinds of lifestyle change are extremely costly for the average person. (more…)

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